• Save COUL LINKS protected nature from destructive Déjà Vu Golf Course
    On 26 July 2020 (!), a new planning application was submitted to The Highland Council (validated 4 September) for an 18-hole golf course, largely on Coul Links sand dunes within Loch Fleet and Dornoch Firth Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), Special Protection Area (SPA) and Ramsar international wetland. A further small par 3 course (14 holes) is proposed for adjacent non-SSSI higher land (raised beach) immediately north of Embo. That area was extensively burnt back in March 2020, also damaging non-SSSI dune grassland which supports a nationally important colony of northern brown argus butterfly. Details of the larger course layout and bogus claims about improvements to site condition are almost identical to the previous application that was refused by The Scottish Government in February 2020 following a Local Public Inquiry, after it had been approved by all but one councillor (plus one abstainer) on the Highland Council Planning Committee. Government agency NatureScot (previously SNH) has expressed serious concerns similarly to before. The applicant is a local councillor, ostensibly acting on behalf of a junior football and athletics club. The application doesn’t mention financing sources. Its Appendix states, “Should this application be progressed, it will be submitted by a consortium of community groups local to the East Sutherland region”. The fear is that the whole exercise is a Trojan or stalking horse for the previous Coul Links Ltd consortium, which included The Embo Trust (Urras Euraboil) as an intended shareholder. The applicant’s Appendix reveals Covid19 and Brexit uncertainties being used for economic opportunism. There is no mention of global ecocide, coastal climate emergency impacts or the waste of resources repeating unnecessary planning Inquiries, should the application gain any traction: money that could be spent on conservation. The councillor sits on all the powerful local committees and is chairman of Embo Trust. Concerning his lobbying of the earlier planning application: he edited and circulated misleading press letters to all Highland Council Planning Committee; in his Coul Links article in The Crofter journal, November 2017 he described ‘those of an environmental persuasion’ as ‘Armchair Environmentalists’ and, as quoted in The Press & Journal, expressed his ignorance of habitat loss as “Cars and cats kill more birds than golfers”. At hypocritical odds with minority golf ambitions are Embo Trust’s Article of Association 4.5: "To advance environmental protection or improvement including preservation and conservation of the natural environment, the promotion of sustainable development, the maintenance, improvement or provision of environmental amenities for the community”. The Scottish Government decision about the previous application followed recommendation by Highland Council’s Planning Officer to refuse; a total of 1864 planning objections, including from government agency Scottish Natural Heritage (now NatureScot); a protracted campaign by many leading conservation charities (led by RSPB); an earlier Wembley Stadium capacity 38Degrees petition (now closed); and a month-long Public Inquiry, officiated by The Planning and Environmental Appeals Division of The Scottish Government, with production of a detailed DPEA Report recommending refusal. Scotland’s Planning Minister Kevin Stewart summarised in February 2020: “Reporters have concluded that the harmful impacts of this development to protected habitats and species would outweigh the potential socio-economic benefits. This proposal does not comply with the relevant provisions of the Highland Wide Local Development Plan and runs contrary to Scottish planning policy’s emphasis on protecting natural heritage sites and world class environmental assets. The Scottish Government has considered the reporter’s findings carefully and agree with the recommendation that planning permission should be refused”. Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC) Information Sheet on Dornoch Firth and Loch Fleet Ramsar site: https://jncc.gov.uk/jncc-assets/RIS/UK13011.pdf Highland Council Planning Application Summary Reference 20/02820/SCRE: https://wam.highland.gov.uk/wam/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=summary&keyVal=QE8IQ6IH0HZ00 DPEA Coul Links Public Inquiry webcasts February & March 2019: https://dpea.public-i.tv/core/portal/webcasts Informative and impartial website by a conservationist golfer (URL not to be confused with developer's): https://www.coullinksgolf.com/
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    Created by Andrew Weston Picture
  • Ask Alister Jack to meet with D&G Climate Activists!
    We are facing an unprecedented climate crisis crisis and the UK government simply isn’t doing enough. The Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill can help us change our course—making the government act with the urgency we need and involving everyday people in a Citizens’ Assembly that has real bite. If the CEE Bill is made law, the government would have to act fast, accounting for our entire carbon footprint while actively conserving nature here and overseas. The bill could set a precedent that can be replicated across the world. According to They Work for You, a website that documents MPs voting records, Alister Jack "generally voted against measures to prevent climate change". It is vital that local environmental groups and concerned citizens have the opportunity to convey to Alister Jack the severity of the crisis we are facing and to demand his representation in parliament. Help us hold him to account!
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    Created by XR D&G
  • Fly tipping and illegal dumping in Whitton
    The dumped waste and fly tipping problem is having a huge impact not only on the environment but also with the families and the general public that live here and use/walk through these spaces. The rats are getting into cars and gnawing through cables and infesting homes! This is a huge issue and also over a prolonged period of time has affected the wellbeing and mental health of some residents. We need to act collectively as a community and get Richmond Council to listen to our voice! Please sign and show your support through this petition to get our community areas cleared and looking respectful again.
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    Created by Sharna Beckles
  • E-waste: the dark horse of environmental problems
    Most of this electronics will be thrown away within three years due to new technologies and planned obsolescence. The average life of a computer has decreased significantly from six to two years, and the average life cycle of today's cell phones is only 9 to 18 months. As a result, up to 50 million tons of electronic waste are produced annually, most of it from First World countries, whose strict recycling laws make safe disposal expensive and tedious. As a result, much of it is exported to countries such as China, India, Pakistan, Vietnam, the Philippines and Africa, which are not subject to strict regulations. This export is illegal under the Basel Convention, according to which "hazardous waste must be disposed of in the country of origin". What it does to the environment: Chemicals in e-waste can be mercury, lead, cadmium, arsenic, nickel, and chromium. These compounds can be very persistent in the environment and are absorbed by plants through the soil and by humans through food, water, air, dust, skin contact, and ingestion. What it can do to people: According to the World Health Organization (WHO), low levels of lead, mercury and cadmium can cause neurological damage, cancer, lung, kidney, thyroid and liver diseases, and cause behavioral and learning difficulties in children. What can be done: Governments around the world must stop exporting their e-waste to these countries and instead try to improve their own waste methods. Governments should feel responsible for managing their own e-waste recycling programs so that businesses can explore this path in a cheaper and more sustainable way, rather than simply shifting the duty to countries that need money.
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    Created by Viacheslav Digriz
  • Save Our Tree
    The tree is part of Goat Street and the only street tree we have. It is important for the environment, for the quality of air we breath, for the nesting birds and great source of pollen for the bees in spring.
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    Created by Rosina Coe
  • Clean up Newcastle's West End!
    For years, we've had a major problem with litter and fly-tipping in the West End. Despite the Council introducing communal bins to some areas, there has been inadequate action to tackle all of the issues. The shopping areas along West Road and Westgate Hill, Adelaide Terrace, Elswick Road, Slatyford Lane and Two Ball Lonnen and the back lanes in the terraces of Arthur's Hill, Benwell, Elswick and Wingrove are particularly badly affected. Children have to walk though rubbish on their way to school and when playing out. Local businesses are affected as the litter problems reflect poorly on the West End. Local residents are fed up with so much rubbish in their gardens, streets and parks. Litter looks unsightly, pollutes our environment, harms our wildlife and attracts vermin - the West End deserves better!
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    Created by Taymar Pitman Picture
  • Control your Trolleys Asda St Austell
    It is everybodies responsibility to look after the environment, regardless of whether you are an individual or a large national company. Asda have a responsibility to respect the area in which they operate, and not become an environmental burden. It is not the customers that are at fault for taking them, that is the effect...the root cause is the lack of controls on Asda assets. Currently there are around 15-20 trolleys in plain view and in known hotspots within 1/2 mile of the store with a number more far-afield across town. They are also on a children’s playground piled up which is not only an eyesore but unsafe. Despite MP involvement, CEO of Asda involvement there seems to be an unwillingness to act responsibly.
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    Created by Paul Roberts
  • Recycle Food Waste in Plymouth
    "As the population continues to increase and more pressure is placed on global food production, we have not just a moral obligation but an absolute need to address the issue of food waste" - Global initiative 'Vision 2020' First and foremost, let's look at the consequences of food waste going to landfill. According to food sharing service "Olio", in the UK the average family throws away 22% of their weekly shop, which is worth £730 per year. It takes a land mass larger than China to grow the food each year that is ultimately never eaten – land that has been deforested, species that have been driven to extinction, indigenous populations that have been moved, soil that has been degraded – all to produce food that we then just throw away. In addition, food that is never eaten accounts for 25% of all fresh water consumption globally. Not only are all of the resources that went into creating the uneaten food wasted (land, water, labour, energy, manufacturing, packaging, etc), but when food waste goes to landfill, which is where the vast majority of it ends up, it decomposes without access to oxygen and creates methane, which is 23x more deadly than carbon dioxide. Finally, and most frankly, Plymouth lags the rest of South Devon. It is truly embarrassing that a city as significant in size and population as Plymouth, can appear so apathetic towards the planet's environmental issues. Just look at Teignbridge, collecting food waste from cities, towns and villages. It might seem to some that it is too late or too early to make a change, but it is not too late to at least try.
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    Created by Daniel Tout
  • Pesticide-Free Currie, Juniper Green & Baberton
    The City of Edinburgh Council use Glyphosate for weed control on our streets, pavements, parks, playgrounds, around schools, cemeteries and green spaces. Glyphosate is under worldwide investigation for its multiple harmful effects on human and animal health including Cancer. It is linked to many health concerns such as asthma, immune issues, Parkinsons, respiratory problems, burning sensations - inflammation, diarrhoea, skin issues, allergies and intolerances. Children are more at risk than adults due to their age and also their behaviour, for example, investigating nature, crawling and playing on grass. Dogs and cats are particularly vulnerable too due to their close proximity to the ground. There are also numerous environmental concerns - pollution of the air we breathe, degradation of the soil and contamination of our delicate waterways. Pesticides have also been shown to have a damaging effect on wildlife, birds and bee populations and other pollinators which are currently in steep decline and need all the help they can get. In 2015, the World Health Organisation said Glyphosate was a probable carcinogen. Billions of dollars have now been set aside for hundreds of thousands of litigation cases arising from claimants against this chemical. ‘Round Up', of which the main ingredient is Glyphosate, has recently been pulled from the shelves of B & Q and Dobbies. Many countries have banned this chemical and communities are asking for no further Glyphosate to be applied where they live, work and play and for safe alternatives to be used instead. Towns and cities across the world have made the decision to go pesticide-free, using methods such as hot-foam, flame weeding, scraping, acetic acid solution and accepting a higher level of weediness and wildflowers. The London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham have been using the Foamstream system from ‘Weedingtech' since 2016! Foamstream uses a blend of plant oils and hot water to kill weeds, is safe to use around humans and animals and is non-harmful to the environment. Dalkeith previously had a moratorium against Glyphosate being used in their community after councillors raised concerns about bee deaths and dog illness. In 2019/2020 Balerno residents raised community concerns about exposure to this chemical and launched a community petition, proposing to The City of Edinburgh Council a trial of Foamstream supported by a community volunteer weeding group. Edinburgh Council are now discussing a trial of Foamstream for 2021 and have agreed that no further Glyphosate is to be applied in Balerno for 2020, protecting the health of the community. We ask now for The City of Edinburgh Council to apply the precautionary principle to Currie, Juniper Green and Barberton and protect the health of these communities. We therefore call on The City of Edinburgh Council to put an end to all pesticide use for weed removal in all of Currie, Juniper Green and Barberton and use safe alternatives instead, protecting health and the health of our environment for now and for future generations. Please also sign the petition to stop pesticide use across the whole of Edinburgh: https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/pesticide-free-edinburgh https://www.pan-uk.org/campaign-success-for-pesticide-free-balerno/ https://www.weedingtech.com/case_studies/glastonbury-town-council/ https://www.hortweek.com/dobbies-garden-centres-drop-glyphosate/retail/article/1663176 https://www.hortweek.com/b-q-drops-glyphosate-based-weedkiller-roundup/retail/article/1683580 https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/theedinburghreporter.co.uk/2020/08/pesticides-a-no-no-in-balerno-and-elsewhere/%3famp
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    Created by Pesticide-Free Edinburgh
  • Say no to tree demolition for a mobile phone mast.
    This is a very fertile green area in the city and very pleasant for families.This must be stopped. the willow trees must not be felled.
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    Created by Diana Taylor Picture
  • Wildflowers on St Leonards Road, Surbiton
    The north side of St Leonards Road has no pavement but numerous patches of vegetation that are left unattended. This makes the area look somewhat shabby and unattractive. Encouraging wildflower growth here would add some much needed colour, stimulate nature and foster a sense of community pride. I have been in contact with one of the local councillors about this intiative, and received the following response: "We do have a bit of work planned over the winter to identify locations where we could relax mowing regimes to allow longer grass to grow. Once we’ve identified the area then there will need to be discussions with ward cllrs and residents about the plans and the implications (we do need to consider safety, sightlines, crossing points etc). Any preparation would then be done in the spring in advance of the next growing season. It won’t necessarily be that we can sow pictorial meadow grass everywhere as this is actually quite high maintenance, although we have already done that in a couple of locations where residents have shown an interest in getting involved." If you feel as I do that St Leonard's Road has been neglected for too long, by putting your name to this initiative we can encourage the council to take action that will add colour and vibrancy to the area.
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    Created by Tim Allard
  • Stop our council funding climate change.
    a) fossil fuel companies are driving the climate crisis. It is morally unacceptable that public money should be invested in them b) divestment sends a clear message to governments and to the companies themselves that fossil fuels will no longer be allowed to continue polluting our world and destroying the health and environment of all its peoples c) divestment would protect the fund from the well-documented risk of falling share value.
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    Created by Extinction Rebellion Gloucestershire